by Luke Knickerbocker
With the recent tsunami in Japan causing destruction and loss of life in the thousands, I am reminded of Biblical prophecy regarding the end times.
The disciples of Jesus had asked Christ what the sign of his coming would be, and of the end of the world. (Matthew 24:3) Jesus told them that leading up to the end, there would be wars amongst nations, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:7,8).
This means that there would not only be an increase of wars, sicknesses, and natural disasters, but they would happen in a variety of places. In recent months, we have seen devastation by tsunamis and earthquakes around the world including New Zealand, Indonesia, Haiti and now Japan. These are only a handful of the catastrophic events of which we have received reports.
When considering the recent destruction to each of these islands, it makes it easy to believe the prophecy in Revelation when "every mountain and island" will be moved out of their places. (Revelation 6:16) John the Revelator also wrote, "...there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found." (Revelation 16:18,20).
Yet it seems people still ignore the warning signs that the end is in view. Many live as though they will be here forever and that nothing will change. Thus, their lifestyle is never examined, God is not feared, and eternity is ignored.
As I write this, it is estimated that 10,000 were killed along the coast of Japan. Many towns have been changed or lost forever. Many who lost their family members will never be the same. But until it is our family, or even us, this awful earthquake will remain another piece of disturbing news added to the other chaotic events we've grown accustomed to hearing about. There is a danger of becoming so desensitized to the crises around us that we become calloused to the reality that these are the signs that the end is near. It is high time that we wake up, and prepare to meet God.
As Jesus told his disciples, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
My friend, there is no need to fear. Christ offers peace to the heart that trusts in Him. If you will give your heart to Jesus, ask Him to cleanse you of your sin, He will give you the assurance of eternal life. Then you will be prepared for the end times.
Luke Knickerbocker is the former pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Lake Placid, FL. He submitted this article to our local newspaper back in March. Following are some of the comments he received. He and his wife are now studying to be missionaries in Texas.
(by: Julieanne Crumley - 3/19/2011)
How true!! Thank you so much for sharing the truth : ) I wish more people would pay attention and listen to God who is trying to get their attention. But, as upsetting as this is, Christians should be using this tragedy to be a spring board and get out there and share the truth about God's promises instead of hiding their heads in the sand.
Earthquakes (by: Dr. Bob Hollis, Missionary - 3/18/2011)
Thank you Pastor Luke for your message on the subject of the last days. Jesus did say that they are a sign of the times. I am so glad you are speaking out to let people know it is time to trust Christ and Him alone for salvation.
Earthquakes (by: Susan - 3/18/2011)
Thank you as we speak I am printing out the article and am going to go to the scriptures. The Lord knows I have been craving this as I have no others addressing these known comings. While it is scary it is also comforting to know He has everything in His hand. Just read the back of THE BOOK. God Bless
Scary (by: Jamie - 3/18/2011)
Wow--the end is near.